Slides in this set
What the poem is about..
· The poem is about youth and innocence, and
about how parents worry over little things.
· It explores the fragile nature of youth, and how
it is possible for innocence to be corrupted if it is
· It conveys time as the enemy, as time steals
both youth and innocence, and never returns it.
· It also shows how for children, the park and
indeed the world is PARADISE, but adults who
have lost the ability to see things through a
child's eyes, can only see the dangers found even
in the haven of the park.…read more
Imagery and techniques..
· Positive representation of the park.. the green symbolizes life, and springtime.
It also represents youth and new beginnings.
· The bronze statue of the little boy in the fountain is representative of how the
parents want their children to be: "eternal" and live forever.
· The "hard make of youth" is a reference to the way in which children believe
that they are untouchable, this is also shown in stanza four where it says the
children are "younger than they think;
cocky, trusting" etc.
· The `gaps of light in the dark holly' are to
show the contrast between good and evil.
The light represents hope, and the dark
holly represents the things in the world that
have the potential to corrupt innocence.
Holly is a prickly plant; it has the potential to
harm you, just like evil things in the world.…read more
An important use of imagery is the bronze butterfly on
the wrist of the statue, and the boy himself. They are
described as being the `frailest thing on earth, and the
hardest'. This is a metaphor because the butterfly
represents youth. It is also a juxtaposition showing the
contrast of the fragile vulnerability of life and the strength
that children believe is in them. Also, it represents the fleetingness of life and
how quickly it comes and goes and can be snatched away.
· The statue is "knee-deep in rainbows"; this is an image of the light reflecting in
the water and also a reference to the idealistic dreams of youth - rainbows
symbolise promises. This could be the promise of life, youth, hope, and
· At the end the children echo the `water's laugh', this personifies water, and
represents the joy and happiness of the children, but for the parents it is
mocking them, reminding them that it is only a matter of time before youth and
innocence is lost.…read more
This poem can be linked to `Sweet 18' which is also by Sheenagh Pugh and
explores how time steals youth and innocence.
It can also be linked to Duffy's `Lizzie six' and `shooting stars' which deal with
loss of innocence.…read more